Mercoledì, 26 Settembre 2018
ROME

Avio aerospace CEO says crisis holds possibility

English
© ANSA

Rome, June 25 - For Francesco Caio, the CEO of
Turin-based Avio aerospace group, the undeniably bad
pan-European economic crisis can also create possibilities.
"I don't want to sound as if, oh the future is fantastic
and don't worry about the present - we have to take care of the
present," the 56-year-old Neapolitan-born, internationally
seasoned electronic engineer told ANSA.
"But in Europe there is a tendency these days to almost be
overcome, overwhelmed by the issue of the present and of the
past. We are forgetting that we are at the dawn of a new, a
completely new development cycle that we need to build and to
create...but we are not at the end of history here," Caio said.
Caio heads Avio, the principal contractor for the Vega
rocket system designed to launch small satellites that will be
driving the aerospace industry.
In December, Avio signed a preliminary deal that will be
decided on by Italy's antitrust authority July 2 to sell the
Italian aerospace group to US giant General Electric for 3.3
billion euros.
"Under the assumption that GE completes...the issue becomes
the strategic fit within GE to understand the role we will be
playing...but our part has already been sketched out. We will be
a center of excellence for turbines to be completed in Turin,"
Caio said.
While Italy is struggling under its longest recession in
over 20 years, Caio sees a window of opportunity for
development.
"There are opportunities with new technology of bringing
some of the manufacturing back and there is a shortage of
digital companies here. Huge. If you look at reports...there is
a new wave of robotics coming in, of biotech, pervasive
connectivity between objects, energy needs to be completely
reinvented, new materials, agriculture is being turned on its
head, the ability to control the complete supply chain and
logistics need to be reinvented, transportation...we haven't
even scratched the surface," Caio said.
The former chief executive of Cable & Wireless believes
that Italian companies can attract investors not only with
patents for technology, but also with their entrepreneurial
strengths.
"Patents are great, but first and foremost is the
capability of the people at the top, the track record of the
company and the prospects they have...and frankly I believe that
there may not be many, but there are companies in Italy that
could fit that bill," he said.
However, the brain drain is a risk in Italy, he warns.
"Our young workers are going where they perceive there is
a challenge. Where there are objectives. We are paying to feed
other markets and their competitiveness with our public debt,"
he said.
"I'd try to stop it if I could," he emphasised.
"There are huge social issues Europe has to face, but if
we just focus on the problems without vision for the future then
all of our efforts are just for the birds," he concludes.

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